Thursday, November 30, 2006

Latest paintings

I wanted to create two paintings that could serve as blocks for outside light and didn't want them too busy so did two more versions of my "Sunrise in Carqueiranne" that I did in 2003 when we were in France.

"Sunrise in Carqueiranne"
22 x 28 acrylic on canvas

"Sunset in Carqueiranne"
22 x 28 acrylic on canvas

Itty Bitty Book Review: The Architecture of Happiness

Alain de Botton, the architecture of happiness, the consolations of philosophy, how proust can change your life, essays in love, philosophy a guide to happiness

"The Architecture of Happiness" by Alain de Botton. I picked up his most recent book called "The Architecture of Happiness" on a 7 day read so had to skim some of it. His books are usually worth a look through.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Carqueiranne Market

Carqueiranne Market

A cold mistral was blowing the day I took this video. Even so, on market day everyone is happy!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006


I've been uploading to YouTube various things I have in my "Digital Debris" file...small clips of things I made when I was using my video camera.
Always a pleasure to think of our wonderful little village on the Mediterranean.

Monday, November 27, 2006

A very cold brief walk...

Beautiful out there but very cold.

Over a foot of snow in Victoria!

This is beginning to remind me of the the blizzard of '96. I see Camosun is closed today and I imagine the schools will be as well. Richard posted a message to me at 4:30 a.m. saying he had just arrived home after visiting friends in Seattle and that he was glad to be in his own bed rather than on the floor of the Greyhound Depot in Seattle. He managed to find a way home but it was quite an adventure...he'll phone later today. I guess a number of people have tales to tell...

Sunday, November 26, 2006

I did it!

More snow in Victoria

I managed to take a video with my still camera and post it to YouTube.

I took this photo at around 3pm today...still light snow coming down. The flakes were as large as loonies earlier.

You guessed it...more YouTube stuff

I've set up easy posting to my blog from YouTube and figured out how to upload video so I'll be posting various mini videos I did when I was using my video camera. And will get to doing some new mini videos when I figure out how to do that on my still camera, convert it, upload it, etc. This one is "Snow in Victoria" from another year.'s really coming down now...perhaps I'll go out and try to get some video on my still camera.

Snow in Victoria!

Looks like we're going to get quite a dump of's piling up quite quickly. A rather nice change from the rain and glad we don't have to drive anywhere. Jim can walk to work tomorrow if it continues. A day for cozy activities before fire.

I hope my pansies survive.

I guess I won't be reading my sundial today...not that there's been much opportunity this last month...

My bistro table is looking a little sad out there...I think it's missing the sun.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Something for everyone on YouTube

It's just amazing what we've found on YouTube. I guess the youngsters are more interested in the original videos but we've found loads of great footage of musicians...Reinhardt and Grappelli, Aznavour, Josephine Baker, Trenet, Piaf, Nina Simone, Simon & Garfunkel, Dylan, Rolling Stones and on and on. Jim found a 30 minute interview (in three 10 minute parts) with Aldous Huxley that he hadn't previously seen.

Some of this stuff is obviously from commercial movies and performances but I guess the copyright isn't infringed because of the idea of "fair use" and using only a small part of the original. Rather curious about how the copyright thing works on YouTube.

For Donna and Neil (and all you other Dixieland Jazz fans)...nice to think of that warm summer evening last June when we saw the Preservation Hall Orchestra!

Friday, November 24, 2006

Laugh and The World Laughs With You

Annette sent me this recently and Richard pointed out it was on YouTube so here it is for everyone. I can see YouTube will become my new toy for a while...

Thursday, November 23, 2006

YouTube via the newspaper, the book...

Richard Friends of Rich recently made some interesting comments on his blog about new and old media and mentioned how he used a video clip YouTube - Reading Rainbow on YouTube when he first messaged his bookclub.

I had read an article on YouTube in the newspaper recently, then the bookclub mention gave me the impetus to take a look. So, it seems I came to the new media via the old media. I think I'm going to have fun with it!

YouTube - Broadcast Yourself.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Masterpiece Theatre | Under the Greenwood Tree

This adapatation of a wonderful novel by Hardy begins this weekend on Masterpiece Theatre. This is a happy novel of Hardy's and takes place in the area where he grew up and where we spent a week in 2004. On Susan and Alan's recommendation I read the novel in preparation for our stay and really enjoyed it. Looking forward to the production.

Wow...this is now unusual for Masterpiece Theatre to have two shows of interest in a row. We really enjoyed the last Prime Suspect...Helen Mirren was fantastic as usual. We used to almost always watch Masterpiece Theatre but Bush's budget cuts to Public Television have really affected the quality of programs...too bad.

Masterpiece Theatre | Under the Greenwood Tree

Monday, November 20, 2006

My faith in western society is restored

Richard just sent me this link. It seems the book and the interview have been cancelled. I hope Fox loses big time on this one. As someone remarked, "Fox was the network that began at the bottom and sunk lower". - News Corp. Cancels O.J. Simpson Book and TV Special - Celebrity Gossip | Entertainment News | Arts And Entertainment

Yellow Holly Berries?

I think these are holly berries but I haven't noticed yellow before.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Tobermory by Saki

For those of you curling (and the Curlings come to mind!) up with a cat and a scotch, you might want to read this delightful short story by Saki about a cat that learned to talk. Jim read it to me recently. Tobermory is the name of the cat and also the name of a single malt. Most of us probably remember Saki's story "The Open Window" from schooldays. This one is considered his funniest and some people even say the funniest story ever written!

Tobermory by Saki

I noticed in the Telegraph today that 90 years today Saki was killed by a sniper's bullet in W.W. I. Even though he was way past active duty age he insisted on getting a post in action as a private. An interesting man...apparently his last words were "Put out that bloody cigarette" before the sniper got him.

Telegraph | Entertainment | The short story king with a sting

Weather Cam from White Rock

What a miserable day! I couldn't find a weather cam working in Victoria. This one is good because you can have the streaming video and I've always had a soft spot for White Rock. In the warm weather my Dad would often come home from work and say let's go to White Rock for a swim. My mom would pack up whatever she was cooking for dinner and adapt it to a coleman stove and we'd head off. A good day to think of warm ocean water and hot sand...

A & A Contract Customs Brokers - White Rock Beach scenic cam

Saturday, November 18, 2006

BBC - Radio 4

We've been listening to a reading of a biography of Thomas Hardy called the "Time Torn Man" on BBC. It brought back lots of great memories of the time we spent in Dorset in a cottage with Susan and Alan within spitting distance of where Hardy lived. I posted photos of Hardy country in my Aug 2004 blog entries.

Janice S.: August 2004

The program is called "Book of the Week" and also "Book at Bedtime" is worth a look. You can pick up archives of the readings so don't need to listen live...what a wonderful thing this Internet is!

BBC - Radio 4 - Home

Friday, November 17, 2006


I had a visit with Tiloup yesterday and gave him some food and company for awhile. He was very sweet and well behaved. I was covered (glasses included) in kisses. He didn't even bark when I left and seemed quite content to go back into his pen after many chasings of the ball.

Tiloup with his pet beaver in the background.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Write HarperCollins

I try to avoid controversial topics on this blog but I am so disgusted by news of the O.J. book that I feel I need to register a protest and have written to the publishers expressing my feelings. If you feel the same way I urge you to write as well and not to buy or read the book, or watch the TV interview.

Jane Friedman, President and CEO
HarperCollins Publishers,
10 East 53rd Street, New York, NY 10022

Of course, millions of people will buy into this media circus. It's at times like this I feel very sympathetic to Bin Laden and his belief that our morally bankrupt western society deserves to be blown to bits. O.J. Simpson ‘confesses' publisher says

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Lost Photos...Snow in Carqueiranne

I thought I had lost these photos of the brief snowfall we had in Carqueiranne in February of 2005 but I found them recently. Very unusual...students at the university were asking to go outside because they had never seen snow before. What was even more amazing was snow in Provence in April that year when we were on the train to Paris...that made CNN!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Best thing since sliced bread....

I know some of you may think a hot tea maker is silly but remember when we did filter coffee with those plastic cones...would any of us give up our coffee makers to go back to that? The best thing about it is it makes using loose tea so much less fiddly. I love it!

Monday, November 13, 2006

Itty Bitty Book Reviews: De Niro's Game & The Tiger Claw

It seems appropriate to post these mini reviews this Remembrance Day about the more "traditional" war (WW II) and the other about the kind of wars that never seem to leave us. I think Hage's novel gives us an excellent idea about how a lot of young men are growing up in various war torn areas of the world.

"The Tiger Claw" by Shauna Singh Baldwin

I've been interested to read something of hers so was pleased when it was a bookclub choice. It is based on a true story inspired by the life of Noor Inayat Khan - code name "Madeleine" - who worked against the Occupation after the Nazi invasion of France. It was a pretty good story for the most part but I felt it did bog down and couldn't quite put my finger on the problem with it...perhaps lack of good characterization for most of the characters.

"De Niro's Game" by Rawi Hage

This novel was nominated for Giller prize this year and apparently many people thought it would win but didn't in the end. Hage is a Lebanese who came to Canada in 1992 having lived through nine years of the Lebanese civil war. It takes place during that time...edgy, poetic, pretty powerful writing. In the bio it says he is a visual artist and curator as well. Seems like a talented guy.

111101 - Artworks

Sunday, November 12, 2006


I got a real laugh out of this book compiled by Doug Lansky called "Signspotting". It's published by Lonely Planet.

It looks like a team of translators was brought in for this task. Or maybe it was just one guy making them up.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Little town salutes Nanaimo veteran

What a nice change to have great weather for the Remembrance Day ceremonies. There was a very good story in the TC today about my friend Patty's father.

Fairey Battle bomber - The plane Pat Barron was flying.

Little town salutes Nanaimo veteran

Friday, November 10, 2006

It was a dark and stormy morning...

Waking up to lots of rain and wind this morning...don't think it will be a golf day for Jim.

Rather different from yesterday when I put in my winter pansies to replace my geraniums that finally packed it completely waterlogged after all the rain.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Huxley Photo

Here's an interesting photo of Huxley that my cousin, John, came across in Philippe Halsmans Jump book. He took photos of a number of famous people "jumping". There is a print of the picture for sale if anyone is interested. Only a $1,000 US! (I printed up a copy on glossy photo paper from the jpeg and framed it and it looks great.)

I Photo Central | Image Detail | Philippe Halsman

Monday, November 06, 2006

Matisse Chapel (revised)

I think I like this better now that I put windowpanes in so it looks more like stained glass windows...thanks, Annette for the tip!

Janice S.: August 2004

Goodness...what a day for rain! To dispel some of this gloom I thought of posting this photo of a huge sunflower I grew in the summer of 2004. It was easier to link the whole month of my blog and I enjoyed looking at photos of the sunny, lazy, days of summer. Hope this brightens your day as well.

Janice S.: August 2004

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Rainy Day Thoughts

On this rainy day it's nice to think of sunny Italy and the wonderful time we had in Siena with our room with a view over the Tuscan Hills. I liked this photo from the fellow who does the "Daily Dose of Imagery" photoblog. We didn't go up this tower...a gadzillion stairs but it was exciting to be where the famous "Palio" takes place that Huxley writes about.

[daily dose of imagery] siena perspective

Palio di Siena - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Friday, November 03, 2006


I do enjoy seeing the artwork displayed in the MacLarin Building at Uvic. I believe this work is from students in the elementary program.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Web reaches new milestone: 100 million sites -

It's amazing really when you think about it. I began in 1987 with using a 300 baud modem (very very slow) and no such thing as web browswers and websites...very unfriendly text based, listservs and the like. Computers with one meg of RAM were a big deal so not much potential for fancy things. In those days it was mainly the university networks such as "bitnet" and local BBS's (Bulletin Board Services). Services with "menus" (rather than having to know a lot of arcane commands) were a godsend.

I remember being introduced to the web browser "Mosaic" while I was seconded to the Ministry of Education to help teachers understand how to use this technology and thought, WOW! but never imagined it would lead to where we currently are. BTW, those were the days when there was NO commercial content or selling was allowed on the Web. That came around the mid 90's as I recall and a lot of people thought the sky would fall in.

Web reaches new milestone: 100 million sites -

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

A walk around the neighbourhood

We don't have the colours of the east in Autumn; nevertheless, we do get some amazing colour and we still have marigolds and california poppies blooming. I doubt that is happening back there.